Lord Conrad's Lady Lord Conrad's Lady by Leo Frankowski
Publisher: Del Rey
Year: 1990
Pages: 296

It may be of interest to you to read my review of the previous book, The Flying Warlord

It was perhaps 1996 or 1997. Having already discovered and read the four books of the Adventures of Conrad Stargard series several times, imagine my shock and awe when, one day when perusing through the then-rather-new Amazon.com, I see that there’s a fifth book!

My immediate reaction was to think that it must have been written significantly later, but no: it was released in 1990, the year after The Flying Warlord, and Frankowski clearly intended to write and release it, since it contains the answers to his earlier allusion: the slaughter at East Gate, for instance.

Imagine Conrad’s surprise to find that even after the slaughter of the Mongols (that’s not really a spoiler, since you know Poland’s going to win…), there are three more battles to fight! After all that is finally done, the book settles back into its familiar groove: Conrad invents something new, fights and eventually dismantles an artifact from pre-Conrad Poland. Meanwhile, his new wife Francine is trying to play political puppet-master behind the scenes.

And he finally gets revenge on the Crossmen.

Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of the book is a sudden break—near the end—from the 13th-century action, when “Tom,” a time travel expert who’s narrated in interludes through the series, finally makes contact with Conrad and explains how all this came to be. This idea is fleshed out in more detail in Conrad’s Time Machine, the idea of which was at this point a twinkle in Frankowski’s eye.

My guess is that Frankowski really was done with the Conrad series with this book, tying up most of the loose ends and leaving no gaping holes. Later books would need to introduce new conflicts as well as solve them. In this respect, Lord Conrad’s Lady is a pretty good place to stop reading if your love of the series is tenuous: other books, penned nearly a decade later, lack some of the original quality that made Conrad so fun to read.

Not that it stopped me from reading them anyway (but more on that later).

§1896 · September 7, 2007 · Tags: , , , ·

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